Fiscal cliff will have major impact on So. Ga. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fiscal cliff will have major impact on So. Ga.

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Not much progress, Monday night, as leaders in Washington try to work out a deal on spending cuts and revenue increases.

Without a deal, we'll go off the so called fiscal cliff January 1st.

That means tax hikes for everyone and deep spending cuts to vital programs.

Just 21 days before the federal government goes over the fiscal cliff, Governor Nathan Deal has asked state department heads to come up with emergency plans to deal with the potential loss of federal money.

"All congress needs to do is pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income," said President Barack Obama.

If a deal doesn't get done, many agencies here in Southwest Georgia will feel the effects, including Easter Seals. Easter Seals is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities.

"Of the funding in our budget, 90% is either state or federal money and so the state money can also be effected by what happens at the federal level, because a lot of the money we get from the state flows through from the federal government," said Easter Seals Executive Director Beth English.

English says without an agreement, drastic cuts will come to many community service programs, especially those that help youth and the elderly.

"The impact on vulnerable populations will be just tremendous. There are currently children in head start programs that will no longer be able to be served. The funds for special educational services potentially will be cut. Programs that serve aging will not have services or they'll be fewer services," said English.

English says there's an easy way to describe the effects of the fiscal cliff.

"I would say catastrophic because when they talk about a fiscal cliff, that's exactly what we're looking at. Our country won't be the same if we go to those dire types of strategies," said English.

She is optimistic, however, that the two sides will come together and work a deal out before this country sees one of its worst economic downfalls.

 

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